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From the point of view of a given individual (E.g, me), punishment imposed upon them can't be correctly accepted as justified or seen as a necessary obligation unless it fixes a recognized wrongdoing in a meaningful way. A person's assessment of their own actions can be one of satisfaction, regret, forgiveness, or indifference, none of which properly entail an emotional need to be punished.

Obviously those actions which we are satisfied with, we (note that I mean "we" as "us individuals," not in a collective sense) don't feel the need to be punished for because punishment ought only to apply to actions which are wrong or disagreeable. In fact, this is true by definition, only the interpretations of right/agreeable acts and wrong/disagreeable acts differ. The way other people interpret our actions should be of no concern, as their interpretations are either in agreement (in which case nothing changes) or incompatible (in which case they are our opposition and deserve no ideological sympathy).

Those we regret, we not only don't (need to) think we must be punished for, but can rightfully say nobody should be punished for. Because they are in a state of personal distress caused by the fact that we no longer regard a recent wrongdoing as right, to punish a person who regrets their actions is to essentially punish a different person, one who no longer agrees with the rationale or recognizes the lack of rationale for a past action. That is, a vile person turned innocent by their sudden change of heart. It should be said this would be a terrible practical policy, as it's difficult to tell when people truly regret things as opposed to simply feigning it to gain sympathy, without intimate familiarity with them and their behavior.

If punishment forced upon those who regret their actions is unjustified, then the same is true for probably self evident reasons of those who forgive their actions. Such people have likely already experienced regret and have moved on, accepting that their past actions were poor ones, and separating them from their current identities. Thus, any punishment laid upon them is an attack on a past identity rather than who they currently are, in a way even more certain than with those who merely regret things they've done.

As for indifference, well, it goes without saying you can hardly believe you must suffer for an action you couldn't fucking care less about.

As far as my viewpoint is concerned, punishments which don't involve compensation for the victims of my recognized follies are just useless causes of my suffering, used in an attempt to control my behavior or make an example of me in a way that is agreeable to external and popular expectations. The threat of legal and social penalties is not for me, who is not a self-hating slave of anyone who arbitrarily claims moral or legal authority, but for you, provided that you may possibly accept or be indifferent towards an action which I might deem to be distasteful, perhaps (conveniently) along with the rest of society. For this reason my aim here isn't to suggest you *should* disregard non-compensative punishments in general wherever possible, just that it would be *rational* if you did.
Satanic International Network was created by Zach Black in 2009.
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